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Your UPS(s) are 20 Years Old - What Do You Do?

You realize your UPS(s) are 20 years old when you get a letter from the manufacturer saying they will no longer be supporting the older model – What do you do?

Start by answering these questions: –

  1. Do you do a push pull - old for new?
  2. Do you install a new unit and transfer and/or refeed the critical loads?
  3. Do you upgrade capacity?
  4. Do you schedule an outage for change or is there a way to perform the upgrade without an outage?
  5. How will the change affect cooling, monitoring, batteries, and floor loading.
  6. Will it fit in the same foot print?
  7. How did they get this in the room in the first place?
  8. Do you go green?

Oh No! – The automatic transfer switche(s) are also outdated and need replaced. More questions to answer and more decisions to make:    question-mark-250x250

  • What do you do?
  • What’s next - the generator(s), the air conditioners?
  • How do I budget for all of this?
  • Who can I call?

No one wants to hear their CIO, CFO, or boss (and most likely all of the above) say – why didn’t we plan for this? How come we are just now finding out about this?

You get the picture – you are in a no win situation. Even though these replacements need to happen – it isn’t going to be easy.  These types of projects keep many a data center/ facility manager awake at night.

Now is the time to get pro-active and avoid the “why didn’t we know” question.

A detailed infrastructure analysis is the first step to developing a refresh plan. This analysis should include a review of the equipment age, the life expectancy, and review of manufacturer’s support plans. Unfortunately, most of these analyses are not updated regularly and therefore become historical documents versus pro-active planning.  Is it time to update yours?

A second pro-active step is developing a multi-year project plan with budgets based on priority of upgrades and replacements. Presenting this plan, early and often, to upper manage will go a long way in obtaining the proper capital and demonstrates a pro-active management style. This plan will require a well thought out analysis and plan of attack by a team who knows how to answer the tough questions, a team that has successfully completed these types of projects.

How do you find the right team, consultant, and/or contractors? Start off by asking a potential partner questions such as:

How many times have you replaced a UPS and kept the data center running?
Do you think we can replace my UPS/ATS and keep my load protected?
Can you show me an example of a Method of Procedure you have used in the past for similar type projects?
What are some mistakes you have learned to avoid from past experience?
Now isn’t the time to worry about finding the lowest bidder. They are going to completing major surgery on your infrastructure. It is time to partner with a specialist, one that can see the big picture.

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